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Decisions
Baker and The Radio Network Ltd - 2004-034
2004-034

Complaint Radio Sport – host Doug Golightly told caller, “For Christ’s sake, piss off” – offensive – unfair Findings Principle 1 – context – not upheld Principle 5 – comment directed at caller – bad tempered – verging on breach – not upheld This headnote does not form part of the decision Summary [1] During a talkback session on Radio Sport on 13 December 2003, at about 10. 00am, the host Doug Golightly said to a caller, “For Christ’s sake, piss off”. [2] Chris Baker complained to The Radio Network Ltd (TRN), the broadcaster, that the language was offensive and the comment was unfair. [3] In response, TRN declined to uphold the complaint. It considered the attitude apparent and the language contained in the item were acceptable in the robust style of talk show hosted by Mr Golightly....

Decisions
Fonseka and The Radio Network Ltd - 2006-028
2006-028

Complaint under section 8(1)(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Complaint received by broadcaster 21 working days after the broadcast – broadcaster declined to consider as a formal complaint – issue as to Authority’s jurisdiction to consider complaintFindingsSection 6(2) of the Broadcasting Act states that complaints must be “lodged in writing with the broadcaster” within 20 working days after the broadcast – broadcaster was not obliged to consider complaint – Authority has no jurisdiction to consider complaintThis headnote does not form part of the decision. Background [1] Nilanka Fonseka wrote a letter of complaint to The Radio Network Ltd (TRN) about comments broadcast on 6 February 2006 on ZM radio (90. 9FM). [2] The complaint was received by TRN on 7 March 2006. TRN declined to accept his complaint as a formal complaint, as it had arrived “outside the 20 days allowed since the broadcast to qualify as a formal complaint”....

Decisions
Lerner and New Zealand Media and Entertainment - 2016-039 (25 July 2016)
2016-039

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]During an editorial segment on KPMG Early Edition, host Rachel Smalley discussed the standing down of British Labour MP Naz Shah after accusations of anti-Semitism. Ms Smalley went on to question why criticism of Israel is often viewed as criticism of the Jewish faith, referring to comments she made during a broadcast in 2014 which were critical of Israel and the ‘abuse’ she received in response. The Authority did not uphold a complaint alleging that Ms Smalley’s reference to her previous comments was misleading – partly because she did not refer to the Authority’s finding that one of her previous statements was inaccurate – and that the item was unbalanced....

Decisions
Johnson and The Radio Network Ltd - 2012-066
2012-066

Complaint under section 8(1B)(b)(i) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Jay, Flynny and Jacqui – host told a personal anecdote about a prank she committed in her youth, namely setting off a fire alarm “resulting in all of Timaru’s fire engines turning up” – allegedly in breach of law and order standardFindingsStandard 2 (law and order) – anecdote was a light-hearted recollection of host’s actions in her youth, with educational message – host made comments condemning her own behaviour and noted the repercussions – story was intended to humour and entertain and did not invite imitation or otherwise encourage listeners to break the law or condone criminal activity – not upheld This headnote does not form part of the decision. Introduction [1] At approximately 2....

Decisions
Spring and The Radio Network Ltd - 2007-108
2007-108

Complaint under section 8(1)(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989ZM – host discussed a television item that had contained an interview with Ray Spring – host made various statements about Mr Spring and told listeners where to find his home address in the White Pages – allegedly in breach of law and order, privacy, balance and fairness standards Findings Principle 3 (privacy) – item disclosed complainant’s name and effectively disclosed his address in a manner that was highly offensive – no legitimate public interest in the disclosure – upheld Principle 5 (fairness) – item breached standards of privacy which was also unfair – item encouraged listeners to harass the complainant – upheld Principle 2 (law and order) – item did not encourage listeners to break the law – the host’s comments were not sufficiently explicit to promote, condone or glamorise criminal activity – not upheld Principle 4 (balance) – item did not discuss a controversial…...

Decisions
Campbell and The Radio Network Ltd - 2011-035
2011-035

Complaint under section 8(1B)(b)(i) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Listeners’ Choice Countdown – song titled “Killing in the Name” by Rage Against the Machine – broadcast at 9. 30am – contained the lyrics “Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me” repeated 16 times, followed by the word “motherfucker” – allegedly in breach of standards relating to good taste and decency and responsible programming Findings Standard 1 (good taste and decency) – song inadequately censored – excessive use of expletives would have significantly departed from audience expectations – upheld Standard 8 (responsible programming) – subsumed into consideration of Standard 1No Order This headnote does not form part of the decision. Broadcast [1] A song titled “Killing in the Name” by rock band Rage Against the Machine was broadcast during the Listeners’ Choice Countdown on Radio Hauraki at approximately 9. 30am on Thursday 17 February 2011....

Decisions
Grant and NZME Radio Ltd - 2022-032 (6 July 2022)
2022-032

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about comments made by Mike Hosking on Mike Hosking Breakfast that he ‘can’t wait’ to be a close contact of a person with COVID-19, and that ‘there’s so much more fun to have’ in relation to the ‘Omicron experience. ’ The Authority found the comments did not breach the good taste and decency standard and were likely tongue-in-cheek, referring to the possible difficulties Hosking would face if working from home. Taking into account audience expectations of Newstalk ZB and Mike Hosking as a host, as well as the flippant, humorous nature of the comments, the Authority found they were unlikely to have caused widespread undue offence or distress or undermined widely shared community standards. Accordingly, they did not reach the threshold for regulatory intervention. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency...

Decisions
Brown and NZME Ltd - 2021-107 (17 November 2021)
2021-107

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about comments by Mike Hosking regarding Director General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield. Mr Hosking said Dr Bloomfield ‘lied to the Select Committee’ and was a ‘liar’. The Authority found the accuracy and fairness standards were not breached as the comments were distinguishable as the opinion of the presenter and they did not result in Dr Bloomfield being treated unfairly. Given Dr Bloomfield’s high profile position, he can reasonably expect to be the subject of robust scrutiny. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Fairness  ...

Decisions
O'Leary and New Zealand Media Entertainment Ltd - 2020-009 (16 June 2020)
2020-009

A complaint regarding a comment made by radio host Chris Lynch in relation to a news report that Whakaari was going to receive a blessing in the wake of the fatal volcanic eruption has not been upheld. The Authority found that considering the relevant contextual factors, Mr Lynch’s comment ‘because that’s going to change everything isn’t it?’ was unlikely to cause widespread undue offence or distress. The Authority also noted that, while the comment had the potential to offend some listeners, comments will not breach the discrimination and denigration standard simply because they are critical of a particular group, because they offend people, or because they are rude. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Discrimination and Denigration...

Decisions
Palmer and The Radio Network Ltd - 2007-054
2007-054

Complaint under section 8(1)(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Radio Hauraki – hosts on breakfast show referred to Helen Clark donating a testicle – allegedly in breach of good taste and decency and social responsibility. Findings Principle 1 (good taste and decency) – contextual factors – not upheld Principle 7 (social responsibility) – item light-hearted and satirical in nature – broadcaster was mindful of children’s interests – not upheld This headnote does not form part of the decision. Broadcast [1] At 8. 30am on 11 May 2007, Radio Hauraki broadcast a segment in its breakfast show hosted by the "Morning Pirates", Willy De Wit, Mark Perry and Dean Butler. One of the hosts described a story about a woman in the UK who had recently donated her kidney to her employer, who was in need of a transplant....

Decisions
Tuck and NZME Radio Ltd - 2024-024 (22 May 2024)
2024-024

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a segment of Fletch, Vaughan and Hayley discussing Ministry of Education guidelines for relationships and sexuality education breached the children’s interests standard. As part of the segment, the hosts indicated they wanted to talk about ‘the wild things that you were taught at sex ed. ’ The complainant considered the segment, which featured discussion of genitalia and how to use condoms, was inappropriate to air in the morning when parents were taking their children to school. The Authority found the segment was within audience expectations for the programme and the radio station, ZM, and the nature of the upcoming discussion was sufficiently signposted to allow parents or caregivers to exercise discretion over their children’s listening....

Decisions
Kern and NZME Radio Ltd - 2022-115 (30 January 2023)
2022-115

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about a segment during Days with Lorna Subrtizky on Coast FM discussing Sylvester Stallone’s recent divorce. As part of the segment, the host joked, ‘When he was interviewed about it, Sly Stallone had this to say…’ and played a clip of Stallone garbling unintelligibly, with only the word ‘Rocky’ able to be made out. The complainant considered this to be a cruel and insensitive joke which made fun of Stallone’s (and by implication, others’) disability affecting his speech, in breach of the discrimination and denigration standard. The Authority found the joke was directed only at Stallone as an individual, and did not extend to a section of the community as required under the standard. In any event, the broadcast would not have reached the threshold required for finding a breach.   Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration...

Decisions
Williamson and NZME Radio Ltd - 2023-008 (16 May 2023)
2023-008

During the programme Sunday Mornings with The Resident Builder on Newstalk ZB, the host described how he used to make an implement to shoot fireworks as a young boy, ‘à la a good old fashioned sort of flintlock. ’ The complainant alleged these comments could have encouraged children listening to imitate the host’s actions and put themselves or others in danger, in breach of the children’s interests standard. The Authority did not uphold the complaint, finding the comments were not likely to adversely affect children, taking into account the programme’s target audience and the nature of the comments.   Not Upheld: Children’s Interests...

Decisions
Newton and NZME Radio Ltd - 2022-076 (19 October 2022)
2022-076

The Authority has not upheld a complaint under the discrimination and denigration standard in relation to comments about a celebrity dining at an Indian restaurant on Heather du Plessis-Allan Drive. The complaint alleged comments made by the host were racist, including questioning how a $97,000 bill could be possible at an Indian restaurant and questioning the choice to go there. The Authority acknowledged the comments had the potential to cause offence, but found they did not meet the high threshold required for a breach of the standard.   Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration...

Decisions
Cobham, Findlay & Cox and NZME Radio Ltd - 2023-023 (28 June 2023)
2023-023

The Authority has not upheld complaints that comments made during Early Edition with Kate Hawkesby allegedly downplayed the severity of ex-Tropical Cyclone Gabrielle and associated warnings and safety measures, in breach of several broadcasting standards. The broadcast occurred during the early stages of ex-Tropical Cyclone Gabrielle, and featured Hawkesby and Mike Hosking remarking, among other things, that people ‘love the panic’, had become ‘soft’ and there was no reason for ‘this level of hysteria’. The Authority considered the comments were dismissive of the weather event and insensitive to those already suffering the consequences of Gabrielle....

Decisions
Healy and NZME Radio Ltd - 2023-089 (16 January 2024)
2023-089

The Authority has not upheld a complaint a segment on the Fletch, Vaughan & Hayley morning show breached the discrimination and denigration standard. In the broadcast, the hosts made several jokes and innuendos about the name of Irish airline Aer Lingus and one host, putting on an Irish accent, stated ‘on the menu today, we have potatoes’. The complainant considered the jokes to be offensive to Irish people and culture, and to amount to racism. The Authority acknowledged the jokes had the potential to offend, but did not uphold the complaint, finding the jokes did not meet the threshold for a breach under the discrimination and denigration standard as they were unlikely to encourage the different treatment of Irish people to their detriment, devalue the reputation of Irish people, or embed negative stereotypes. Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration...

Decisions
The Rowan Partnership and The Radio Network of New Zealand Ltd - 1997-099
1997-099

BEFORE THE BROADCASTING STANDARDS AUTHORITY Decision No: 1997-099 Dated the 7th day of August 1997 IN THE MATTER of the Broadcasting Act 1989 AND IN THE MATTER of a complaint by THE ROWAN PARTNERSHIP of Wanganui Broadcaster THE RADIO NETWORK OF NEW ZEALAND LIMITED S R Maling Chairperson L M Loates R McLeod A Martin...

Decisions
Collie and NZME Radio Ltd - 2021-008 (15 July 2021)
2021-008

During Mike Hosking Breakfast on Newstalk ZB, Mike Yardley (standing in for Mr Hosking) briefly mentioned the flouting of COVID-19 rules by two named Sky News UK journalists and stated: ‘veteran journalist Adam Boulton is also involved in this’. The Authority did not uphold a complaint the broadcast breached the accuracy standard by misleading listeners to believe Mr Boulton was one of those who flouted the rules. The Authority acknowledged that, without further clarification, the broadcast may have created that impression. However in all the circumstances the potential harm in a New Zealand broadcasting context was not at a level justifying regulatory intervention. Not Upheld: Accuracy...

Decisions
Steel and The Radio Network Ltd - 2006-008
2006-008

Complaint under section 8(1)(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Radio Sport – talkback programme – caller criticised the Kiwi rugby league team – host responded “get your head out of your arse”Findings Principle 1 (good taste and decency) – contextual factors – not upheldThis headnote does not form part of the decision. Broadcast [1] On Saturday 7 January 2006, at approximately 11. 35am, the host of a sports talkback programme responded to a caller’s criticism of the Kiwi rugby league team by commenting “get your head out of your arse”. Complaint [2] Mr Steel complained about the use of the phrase “get your head out of your arse”. Principles [3] TRN assessed the complaint under Principle 1 of the Radio Code of Broadcasting Practice, which provides: Principle 1 In programmes and their presentation, broadcasters are required to maintain standards which are consistent with the observance of good taste and decency....

Decisions
Sturt and The Radio Network Ltd - 2006-038
2006-038

Complaint under section 8(1)(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Radio Sport – discussion about oil prices – guest referred to “thieving Arab bastards” – allegedly in breach of good taste and decency and denigrated ArabsFindingsPrinciple 1 (good taste and decency) – contextual factors – not upheld Principle 7 and Guideline 7a (denigration) – did not amount to blackening or hate speech – not upheldThis headnote does not form part of the decision. Broadcast [1] During a light-hearted exchange about what he regarded as the exorbitant cost of filling the petrol tank in his car, a guest on Radio Sport used the phrase “thieving Arab bastards”. The comment was broadcast at about 8. 30am on 31 March 2006. Complaint [2] Jack Sturt complained to The Radio Network Ltd, the broadcaster, that the use of the phrase was inexcusable....

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